(posted Feb. 27, 7:30 a.m.)- A high-level investment and trade mission from the United Kingdom is visiting Nicaragua for the next three days to look at new business opportunities in oil and gas exploration under the framework of the EU-Central America Association Agreement.
The mission, which will hold meetings with Sandinista officials and national business leaders, is being sponsored by the British telecom company Cable and Wireless, according to a release from The Central American Business Council, a London-based organisation which is working to increase significantly the current levels of trade and investment between the UK and Central America.
The 10-person British delegation, which includes senior policy advisors from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, is arriving in Nicaragua today after visiting Guatemala earlier this week.
“Last year when I spoke with President Ortega, I undertook to deepen our bilateral trade relations and this is a concrete example of that commitment,” said the United Kingdom’s non-resident Ambassador to Nicaragua, Chris Campbell. “This is the first British Trade Mission to Nicaragua for a number of years and we are looking forward to the mutual benefits that we believe will emerge from it. The calibre of companies participating in the Trade Mission shows the interest that UK companies have in Nicaragua. This mission would not have been possible without the collaborative working across both countries by governments and private sector organisations alike.”
The newly formed Central American Business Council is also excited about the prospects of increasing British trade and investment with Central America.
“The UK is the second largest investor in the world, but there is currently very little British investment in Central America,” said council director Chris Bennett in the group’s press release. “This investment and trade mission, coming shortly after the signing of the new EU-Central America Association agreement, will introduce major UK companies to the region, some for the first time, and we hope it will be the first of many such missions in the near future.”
Javier Chamorro, executive director of investment-promotion agency ProNicaragua, noted that the country’s average investment growth rate of 26% per annum since 2007 demonstrates Nicaragua’s favorable business climate.
“We hope this visit from the mission will not only allow us to attract new investments, but will also serve so that UK investors can take advantage of the opportunities that others are already taking,” Chamorro said in the Central American Business Council release.